MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 3,213 this week

Fire Sale (1977)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  6 January 1978 (West Germany)
5.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.1/10 from 260 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 4 critic

Benny and his wife Ruthie a getting set to drive down to Florida, but Benny needs someone to look after his store while he's gone. Though he doesn't think much of him, Benny hands the ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in
0Share...

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 3309 titles
created 26 Nov 2011
 
a list of 15 titles
created 19 Jul 2013
 
a list of 9967 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 
a list of 1885 titles
created 22 Oct 2013
 
a list of 505 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Fire Sale" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Fire Sale (1977)

Fire Sale (1977) on IMDb 5.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Fire Sale.

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A girl brings home her latest boyfriend to meet her parents. This is done against the background of random shootings that had just begun in NYC at the time the play was written. How the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Arkin
Stars: Elliott Gould, Marcia Rodd, Vincent Gardenia
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Hapless driving instructor and former Gunnery Sergeant Rafferty, living in squalor near Hollywood, California, doesn't put up too much of a fight when two ladies hitch a ride and attempt to... See full summary »

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Mackenzie Phillips
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A couple fights for justice to get their injured daughter out of a foster care center.

Director: Eric Till
Stars: Alan Arkin, Mariette Hartley, Monica Parker
Simon (1980)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A group of scientist take Simon, a psychology professor, as a test person for a brainwash experiment. After that they try to convince him that he was a living-being from another planet.

Director: Marshall Brickman
Stars: Alan Arkin, Madeline Kahn, Austin Pendleton
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Yasha is a Jewish stage magician who tours through eastern Europe while destroying his career through personal problems. He has one more chance at theatrical success, but he needs to do a brand new trick in a Warsaw theater.

Director: Menahem Golan
Stars: Alan Arkin, Louise Fletcher, Valerie Perrine
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

San Francisco police detectives Freebie and Bean are determined to bust local crime boss Red Meyers at any cost, even if this means destroying the whole city in the process.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Alan Arkin, James Caan, Loretta Swit
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Flash used to be a talented baseball player but he took to drinking and now he sells stolen watches in the streets. One day he meets Chu Chu who, before falling into alcoholism like him, ... See full summary »

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Alan Arkin, Carol Burnett, Jack Warden
The Monitors (1969)
Certificate: M Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Earthlings chafe at the peace established by a benevolent alien race and set about to rebel.

Director: Jack Shea
Stars: Guy Stockwell, Susan Oliver, Larry Storch
Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lewis Tater writes Wild West dime novels and dreams of actually becoming a cowboy. When he goes west to find his dream he finds himself in possession of the loot box of two crooks who tried... See full summary »

Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Donald Pleasence
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A middle aged restaurateur begins to feel the desire to roam and realizes that one day each week, his mother's apartment will be empty all afternoon. He makes several attempts at seduction,... See full summary »

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Paula Prentiss
Popi (1969)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Abraham is a Puerto Rican single parent with two boys. He is becoming very worried about them living in their run down neighborhood when one day he notices that Cubans who escape are ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Alan Arkin, Rita Moreno, Reuben Figueroa
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The story of a long-distance trucker and his experiences on the road.

Director: Vernon Zimmerman
Stars: Donna Anderson, Alan Arkin, Madison Arnold
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ezra Fikus
...
Russel Fikus
...
Benny Fikus
...
Marion Fikus
Kay Medford ...
Ruth Fikus
Barbara Dana ...
Virginia
...
Sherman
...
Al
Byron Stewart ...
Captain
Oliver Clark ...
Mr. Blossom
William Bogert ...
Insurance Doctor (as Bill Bogert)
...
Painter
MacIntyre Dixon ...
Painter
John Batiste ...
M.D. #1
Augusta Dabney ...
Mrs. Cooper
Edit

Storyline

Benny and his wife Ruthie a getting set to drive down to Florida, but Benny needs someone to look after his store while he's gone. Though he doesn't think much of him, Benny hands the responsibility over to his son, Russel. While Russel doesn't get much respect from his parents, he's better off than his brother, Ezra, whom Benny has gone so far as to disown. Ezra is currently battling with his work (coach of a high school basketball team that hasn't won in ages) and his wife (who keeps nagging him that she wants to have a baby as soon as possible) at the same time. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Taglines:

The Fikus Family: They're Not Roasted. They're Not Salted. They're Just Plain Nuts.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 January 1978 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Brand-udsalg  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Ezra Fikus: How would you like your name to be Booker T. Fikus?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Mixed Feelings about this Movie
4 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is probably the most difficult movie for me to critique. The cast includes several of the greatest comedic talent of the twentieth century, and the material is to die for. In addition, I find the Jewish humor of both Arkins, both Reiners, Sid Caesar, Woody Allen, etc. to be some of the best available in cinema. I soooo wanted to love this movie!! Unfortunately, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it, and beyond saying simply that it isn't as funny as it could have been, I would have some trouble explaining why. Leonard Maltin gave this a 1-star review, calling it "truly unbearable." And yet Keith Bailey, one of my personal favorite reviewers, stated on his website www.badmovieplanet.com that he absolutely laughed himself silly with this movie, calling it a "comic masterpiece." Other reviewers on this website are similarly at polar opposite opinions, and this made me insanely interested in seeing it for myself. Though it has mysteriously never been available on video or DVD, I did find a quality bootleg copy on ebay. As far as I'm concerned, neither of the two reviewers is correct - my appraisal is more of a middle ground between the two.

It seems to me that Robert Klane had a fantastic script, which pulled out all the stops, balancing almost six wacky subplots surrounding a dysfunctional Jewish family. The multiple-subplot structure of "Seinfeld" episodes most certainly takes its inspiration from this movie. Several individual lines are magnificent, the ideas are completely original, but the execution was inefficient. For one, the cinematography is some of the worst I have ever seen - the whole movie is too dark due to insufficient lighting. Second, the timing of most of the jokes is way off. The best example is a scene involving the simultaneous asthmatic attack of both Rob Reiner's character and his father. On paper, this could have been a wonderful bit of dual comic overacting, but the actors underplay it, as if they are embarrassed by the whole thing. And director Arkin makes the unwise decision to prolong the scene for what seems an eternity.

Similar sloppiness pervades the movie, and as such, I found the IDEAS of the movie downright hilarious, but I just couldn't laugh while I was watching it. This is one of those movies that seem a lot more entertaining in hindsight than while you were actually viewing it. That might be the reason why so many reviewers here have fond recollections after so many years. Mind you, I'm not saying it is a bad movie, and that you should steer clear of it as Maltin suggests. But what I am saying is that it has been overrated for two reasons: 1) It has basically disappeared from the public for 28 years, giving it a cult movie mystique, and 2) People have overly nostalgic memories after not having seen it for many years.

Because I love the type of comedy this movie aspired to be, I would like to make a recommendation. Instead of seeing this movie, I suggest Larry Cohen's 1981 horror spoof "Full Moon High," also starring Arking and his son Adam. That movie had similarly anarchic Jewish humor, but the difference is that that movie pulled everything off magnificently, and additionally its is much easier and cheaper to find on video. That film was, indeed, a comic masterpiece.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Fire Sale 1977 grownman111
Byron Stewart aka 'Booker T' TWS_Fan
search for fire sale emilydb1953
Discuss Fire Sale (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?